Find out all you need to know about the clash between the sides in Pune
What is it?
The second Test of a three-match series between India and South Africa. The hosts have dominated the exchanges thus far. Following the tied T20 series between the two nations, Virat Kohli’s side strolled to a comfortable win in the first Test in Viskhapatnam.
South Africa have not won a series in India since 2000 when they prevailed 2-0 thanks to victories in Mumbai and Bengaluru, and if they are to emulate that side they must now come from behind.
What’s the schedule?
FIRST TEST: Dr Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam (Wednesday, October 2 – Sunday, October 6) – India won by 203 runs
SECOND TEST: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune (Thursday, October 10 – Monday, October 14)
THIRD TEST: JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi (Saturday, October 19 – Wednesday, October 23)
What are India’s chances?
India have barely put a foot wrong since the World Cup. The emerged from the tour of the West Indies unbeaten, sweeping aside the hosts in all formats without breaking a sweat.
South Africa are an altogether different proposition, and for long periods of the first Test they were able to match the home side.
After Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma scored centuries – the former his maiden double hundred – as India put on 502 for 7 declared, the tourists were reduced to 34 for 3 on day two.
Centuries from Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock took South Africa to 431 all out, leaving India with a lead of 71. The away side were batted out of the game but a second Rohit century as he impressed on his maiden outing as a Test opener, gave them a handsome advantage.
Set an unlikely 395 runs to win in just over three sessions, South Africa put up a pitiful resistance. Mohammed Shami took 5-35 as they were skittled for just 191 to give India a 1-0 series lead with two to play.
Having swept the visitors aside on day five, India will be well-fancied to increase their lead and wrap up the series at the first time of asking.
Quinton de Kock was one of two first-innings centurions for South Africa
Who’s in and who’s out?
After being overlooked for the first Test, Shubman Gill is still waiting for his Test debut after being included in the squad for the first time, with KL Rahul dropped completely for the series. Agarwal and Sharma are set to remain as the opening pair in what could be an unchanged side.
After Rishabh Pant was overlooked for the first game, Wriddhiman Saha is set to retain the gloves in Pune. The bowling battery is likely to remain unchanged.
Jasprit Bumrah was called-up in the original group but a stress fracture in his lower back has seen him replaced by Umesh Yadav, who went unused against the West Indies and in Visakhapatnam.
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill
Dean Elgar scored a dogged hundred for The Proteas
What about South Africa?
Though they were rolled over in the first Test, it would be a surprise to see too many changes made by South Africa.
They are of course without Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla, following their respective retirements from Test and international cricket.
Anrich Nortje, Rudi Second and Senuran Muthusamy were handed their maiden call-ups for the series but may have a watching brief again, while Faf du Plessis stays on as captain after missing the T20 series.
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second
Mayank Agarwal has cemented his status as India’s opener for the future
What will the weather be like?
Sunny spells and warm temperatures are expected throughout the match, with the only rain forecast during the back-end of day one.
How can I follow it?
In the UK, the first Test will be broadcast on Star Gold HD (Sky channel 717, Virgin Media 801, TalkTalk Plus TV 551). Alternatively, Hotstar will be streaming the entire series.
In India, Star Sports will be showing the Tests while ESPN will be broadcasting the match in the United States and beyond.
What are the odds?
India are heavy favourites to wrap-up the series, with Dafabet offering odds of 4/9, while South Africa are available at 15/2. The draw is at 13/5.
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